Chicago Christians Hold Peace Rally

Peace March
Bishop
Pastor Timothy Rathod
Fr. Geoge
Bishop Agadiath
Telugu Song
Malayalam Song
Hindi Song – Prayer For India
Blessed Assurance
By Team Mangalorean, USA (www.mangalorean.com)

Chicago, Sept 28:
It’s a day of prayer, vigil and fasting for more than 600 Christians of Indian origin in Chicago who joined in solidarity to seek peace and harmony in India, at Syro Malabar Church grounds, Bellwood, Illinois at 1:30pm on Sunday, September 28, 2008.

A Grim looking faces of priests, nuns, laity and community leaders with sadness and anger is evident that they all have heard the “Cry of the poor” from back home – India.  Youths, who usually are on their own schedules on Sundays and hardly to be seen on such protest rallies, have taken a keen interest in leading the protest.  Perhaps, some of them might have seen the video clips of police brutalities on their counter parts!

The program began with hymns sung by various churches in Malayalam, Hindi, English and Konkani languages.

Catholic Bishop, Rt. Rev. Dr. Jacob Angadiath of Syro Malabar lit the candle, which is a symbol of the divinity and bringing light into the world.  He then addressed the crowd the purpose of today’s peace rally and prayer vigil followed by a prayer.  He is the Apostolic Visitator to the Syro-Malabar Catholics of Canada.  The Bishop has jurisdiction over all the Syro-Malabar Catholics in the U.S.A. The Diocese has established within a span of 7 years 13 parishes in the various States of the U.S.A.  He was Consecrated Bishop in 2001.

Leaders from various Churches narrated all the recent atrocities and persecutions on Christians in Orissa, Mangalore, Udupi, Kerala and other parts of India. They unequivocally, condemned the persecutions in India.  They are: Rev.George Madathiparampil, Vicar General of the Syro-Malabar Diocese of Chicago. Worked previously in the Archdiocese of Washington D.C., formerly, the President of St.Berchmans’ College, Kerala, India.  He was also the former President of AIIACHE, an association of all the Christian colleges in India. Had his education at the Catholic University of America, Washington D.C. Formerly, a visiting Professor at the Catholic University, Washington D.C. as well as St. Thomas University, Florida.

Fr. Richard Vaz who was serving in Orissa for the last 29 years before coming to US in 2007 to serve as a superior delegate for the SVD, in his thundering speech said that “While the State Governments run by the fundamentalist groups deliberately denying the basic necessities of life to the victims of riot in Orissa, the Central Government too showing lethargic response in disciplining the State Government or providing safety and basic necessities to the victims of communal violence despite the recommendations from several fact finding missions and non-governmental organization.”

Mr. Jos Anthony Puthenveetil, the Regional Vice President of FIACONA, Chairman: International Christian Coalition for Human Rights, Trustee Member: Care and Share International and Chairman Public Relations -Care and Share Foundation read the letter to be sent to the President of India and Central Government of India.

Dr. Jayachand Pallekonda, an active member in the Indian Community, President of Federation of Indo-American Christians of Greater Chicago, Past President, Federtion of Indian American Christians of North America, President of International Christian Coalition for Human Rights; Vicar of St. Thomas Evangelical Church of India Parish, Chicago and the Administrator of all STECI Parishes in North America; Bishop Ansar, who worked among the indigent community in Orissa. Now a Bishop for an Anglican Church and settled in UK; Rev. Johnson Philip: Parish priest of Mathoma Church, Villa Park, Illinois, condemned the persecutions and atrocities against the Christians and its institutions and asked the crowd to pray for peace and harmony in India.

Several protest rallies have been organized around the world for the last couple of weeks however; this rally organized by the Federation of Indian American Christian of North America (FIACONA) is unique in nature.  Sixty seven Churches of different denomination have sent their representatives to sign the petition to be sent to the President and Prime Minister of India urging their immediate intervention to protect the life, liberty and property of minority Christians in India and ban the Hindu fundamentalist groups.

At the end of the Prayer Vigil, all walked in solidarity for peace rally around the church ground.

Protest from across the world:

Prayer vigil held in front of White House

Dubai: Konkan Community entreats for peace

Konkani Catholics of London unite in solidarity

Canada: Solidarity Mass organized by MAC

Sydney Mangaloreans condemn violence

Konkani Community in Qatar Prays for Peace

Muscat: Mangaloreans submit memo to Indian Ambassador

Canada: Mammoth rally to protest Human Rights Violation in India

Abu Dhabi: Catholics hold protest meet

Kuwait: Prayer Meeting for Peace held

Chicago Christians call for Peace Rally

Doha: MCA condemns attack on Churches

Mangalorean Catholics in Muscat condemn violence in Mangalore

Violence in M’lore: Indian Christian community in Canada calls for protest

Indian Catholics in Kuwait condemn violence against Christians in Mangalore

Printed from www.mangalorean.com

Peace Rally to Support Christian Brethren in India

Chicago, September 28, 2008: St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago’s Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr. Mar Jacob Angadiath sent a following appeal to all peace lovers in Chicagoland to join him for a Peace Rally on September 28, 2008 at 1:30 p.m. at St. Thomas Syro Malabar Cathedral Grounds:

“As you are well aware the persecution of our Christian brethren and the destruction of our churches, convents, orphanages and other Christian institutions are continuing unabated in Orissa, Karnataka and in some parts of Kerala. We cannot remain silent spectators of such gruesome cruelties inflicted on innocent people. We have to make our people and local congregations aware of the indescribable cruelty of this hatred and violence against Christians. It was the desire of many people who have contacted me to act together to bring to the attention of the Christian faithful here the atrocities of this cruel rampage.

Hence may I request to join me along with all the peace loving congregations to show our solidarity and support to our brothers and sisters in India. I am calling for a ‘Peace Rally’ and a ‘Prayer Vigil’ on Sunday, September 28, 2008 at 1:30 P.M. at the Syro-Malabar Cathedral Grounds, 5000 St. Charles Road, Bellwood, Illinois.

Please be kind enough to make this announcement during this Sunday’s service and encourage the congregation to join the ‘Peace Rally’ on Sept. 28th, 2008.

For more information, you may visit: www.fiacona.org.

Yours in Christ,

+Bishop Jacob Angadiath
Bishop of Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago

P.S: I invite your suggestions and cooperation to form a plan of action to address this issue more effectively, so that such painful situations may not happen again in the future.”

-Press Release

Chicago Christians Call for Peace Rally

Chicago, September 18: Many Christian leaders from various organizations including MKCA members united under the banner of Federation of Indian American Christians of North America (FIACONA) at the resident of Bishop, Rt. Rev. Dr. Jacob Angadiath of Syro Malabr Catholic Mission on September 17 at 5pm.

A deeply saddened Catholic Bishop, Rt. Rev. Dr. Jacob Angadiath of Syro Malabar Catholic Mission, representing more than 50 thousand families in North America, having the largest geographical jurisdiction in North America, calls for a day of prayer vigil, fasting and a peace rally in Syro Malabar Cathedral, 5000 W. St. Charles Rd., Bellwood, Illinois, on Sunday, September 28, 2008 at 1.30 P. M.

Narrating all the recent atrocities and persecutions on Christians in Orissa, Mangalore, Udupi, Kerala and other parts of India, the Bishop unequivocally, condemn the persecutions in India. He remarked that these atrocities are not only against the innocent Christians, but also on the Indian democracy and its secular image. He urges all Christians in India to pray, to refrain from any reactions and hope for a peaceful resolution.

Fr. George Madathiprambil, Vicar General of the Diocese urge all Christians to unite under one umbrella, FIACONA to mobilize this movement of creating an awareness in the recent persecutions and atrocities against the Christians and its institutions; and to seek peace and harmony in India.

Mr. Jos Anthony Puthenveetil, the Regional Vice President of FIACONA urge the communities to get organize regardless of their religious beliefs. This is not only a crisis for the Christians; but also for every citizens of India. India is a secular country. We do have religious freedom. A minority fanatic group is trying to disturb the peace and harmony in India. We the peace loving Christians in the United States condemn this violent attack on those innocent victims in India.

Mr .Varghese Chacko, one of the Boards of Directors of FIACONA said the victims in India should be protected by the state government and the central government.

Fr. Richard Vaz who was serving in Orissa for the last 29 years said that many of those victims survived with injuries are misplaced from their huts and they live in refugee shelters in the forests. Many of the priests and nuns those escaped are living in various cities due to the continued death threat; including the Catholic Archbishop of Bhuwaneswar.

Mr .Austin D’Souza, a FIACONA supporter said; the atrocity against the Catholic Churches in Mangalore was very demeaning and deplorable. The militant groups of youngsters entered into the church in Mangalore, destroyed the Crucifix and threw the Holy Sacrament into the floor. Police too entered the church and indiscriminately charged the devotees who gathered there for prayers.

“Since many Indian Churches and American local Churches are expected to join in the peace seeking rally, this will be a history making event” said Rev. M.J. Thomas of CSI Church. He requested everyone to join this history making event in Chicago and show their solidarity to fellow Christians in India.

For more information please contact Fr. George Madathiparambil: 630 2791453, Fr. Richard Vaz : richardvaz@yahoo.com

MKCA Condemns violence

Chicago, Septemebr 18: Followed by the FIACONA meeting, MKCA members gathered for an emergency meeting at the residence of president Larry Mascarenhas. Austin D’Souza Prabhu said a moment of prayer for the victims of Church attacks. Members unanimously passed a motion condemning the attacks on Catholics Churches in Mangalore. Members have also decided to put a pressure on appropriate authorities for a judicial probe into the Church attacks and police brutalities.

Rev. Fr. Richie Vaz explained the gory situation prevailing in Orissa and he intends to bring this issue before the United State Senate through Catholic Bishops conference in US.

Stany D’Souza presented a draft memorandum to be submitted to the President and the Prime Minister of India.

“It is disturbing to note the betrayal by District Administration and the Police force in Mangalore. The morale in government machinery is at its lowest. We cannot do much from here at the moment, but to pray to Almighty to grant them wisdom” said Larry Mascarenhas.

Austin Prabhu requested all the members to attend the rally with their friends and families and show the solidarity.